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Articles Home » 1983 Articles » House, James - 1983 James House
House, James - 1983 James House

ARTIST: House, James
ALBUM: James House
LABEL: Atlantic
SERIAL: 80051-1
YEAR: 1983


LINEUP: James House - vocals, acoustic guitar * Ian Espinoza, Rick Derringer, Steve Khan - guitars * Alan Pasqua - keyboards, synthesizers * Dennis Bellfield - bass * Mike Baird - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Cool Boy In Spain * 02 Outside * 03 Steal Your Love Away * 04 Wait For Me * 05 Hot On Your Trail * 06 Jude * 07 Bittersweet * 08 Talk To My Machine * 09 Edge

WEBLINKS: www.jameshouse.com

I can't quite work this guy out. A talented songwriter, but because of the low-key publicity and appreciation of this 1983 album, you'd think he was trying to bury all detail of it. There's scant detail out there on the Net, and you do need to dig far and wide for extra information. A bit like latter-day Michael Bolton trying to avoid all recollection of his 'hair rock' era to his current fan-base. Perhaps Sacremento born House was a born country/folk musician, judging by his pre-deliction toward the likes of CSN&Y and Poco in his earlier days. By the early 80's, James was making progress, but signed with Atlantic Records to record what would be a west-coast/pop rock effort in the vein of Maxus, Toto and David Roberts. Perhaps not quite up there with those guys, but certainly enough to announce his credentials. I think a push in this direction was made by the record label.. you would think..

The Songs
With a line-up fit for a Van Stephenson solo album, there's no expense spared to provide the required musical back-up, and if 1983 era west-Coast is your cup of tea, then this is certainly worth listening to. And yes, albums of the era such as Neilsen/Pearson, I-Ten and Preview all add up comparison wise, making 1983 a watershed year for the sub-genre. After the gentle piano intro, 'Cool Boy In Spain' gets cracking. You can hear all the aforementioned influences come to the fore within this four minute romp. 'Outside' operates within that undercover lover style, John O'Banion eat your heart out! 'Steal Your Heart Away' could be an out-take from that fantastic Jesse Colin Young Lp 'The Perfect Stranger'. By now you should be starting to appreciate what James House is all about! 'Wait For Me' is well-produced AOR; it moves into tougher territory, sort of like Michael Stanley Band. 'Hot On Your Trail' is probably the most vibrant tune on offer, it has all the qualities we all enjoy. 'Jude' gets my vote as the album's best track. Lots of acoustic guitar, flowing, melodic and generally just a lovely track. Again, the vocal has Jesse Colin Young all over it. 'Bittersweet' veers into I-Ten territory, perhaps with a hint of Rick Springfield in the mix. 'Talk To My Machine' comes off as a slice of gimmicky techno-babble (answering phone from the early 80's), while the album-closer 'Edge' isn't really that edgy, but a cool dab into commercial west-coast of the era.

In Summary
This was the only rock-oriented album released by House. He later moved from California to Nashville TN, and forged a musical and songwriting career in the country music field. He has some albums released from 1989 onward which are country-oriented, and probably won't be of much interest to the rock-brigade here at GDM. But of course, as a one-off exercise in the west-coast domain, this is a must-listen. If I were you, I'd try picking this up on vinyl, because it won't be released on CD anytime soon.

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Tags: James House 
#1 | gerard on July 16 2015 22:09:39
'Jude' sounds great!
#2 | rkbluez on July 18 2015 21:18:23
Had this on vinyl and remember it being a real solid classy rockin' AOR album one I'd buy in a heartbeat if some label reissued it...in fact it was better than a lot of stuff that has been reissued. If I still had it I would of done a vinyl rip a long time ago.
#3 | rostoned on December 10 2015 19:15:14
James co-wrote one track on Lisa Hartman's excellent Bill Wray produced AOR platter ''Til my heart stops' on Atlantic from 1987.
#4 | gdazegod on December 10 2015 20:19:11
You would think being an Atlantic release, this LP would've been picked up Wounded Bird. I wonder if Terry is still reissuing Atlantic's back-catalogue? hmm!
#5 | rostoned on May 14 2016 09:55:16
The incredible James House (whose vocals are a mix of Peppy Castro, Franke Previte, Benny Mardones and Eric Martin!) after this debut LP appeared later on two soundtracks with aor/melodic rock unreleased tunes: 'Flesh On Fire' from the 'Teen Wolf' 1985 OST and the superoutstanding 'Bad Mistake' on 'The Wraith' 1986 OST. Top stuff indeed!
#6 | reyno-roxx on May 14 2016 11:32:48
I've often wondered if that album cover photo was real or whether it was a composite of two locations. If it is real then that location would have Health and Safety tearing their hair out today!
#7 | rostoned on May 15 2016 18:49:21
Well, James House - which I assume has no relationship with Dixon House of the DH Band and solo! - is not only on the above mentioned 2 soundtracks I reported in my post! He sings often killer AOR songs also on all of these OST (many not available on any support, some they do are)..... a true soundtrack-aholic! Grin

1989 Speed Zone/Cannonball Fever (performs Born To Race )
1989 Dream A Little Dream (writer: 'You'd Better Wait' )
1989 California Skate (performer: 'GLEAMING THE CUBE' )
1987 Million Dollar Mystery (performer 3 songs )
1987 Cold Steel (performer: 'Running Out of Time' )
1987 No Man's Land (performer: 'LEAVE MY HEART ALONE' ) / (writer: 'LEAVE MY HEART ALONE' )
1987 Scenes from the Goldmine (performer: 'The Seeker' )
1986 The Wraith (performer: 'BAD MISTAKE' )
1986 Fire With Fire (performer: 'I'm in It for Love' )
1985 Teen Wolf (performer: 'FLESH ON FIRE' )
#8 | richardb on May 15 2016 20:14:06
This is a great album and one I still slap on the turntable from time to time. I agree 'Bad mistake' is an absolute killer tune which rocks hard. Shame he never got the chance to put out another full length AOR album - I'm sure it would have been a classic.
#9 | rostoned on December 01 2016 12:13:44
James House also guested as a background vocalist on a couple of tracks on Wendy Waldman's 1982 cool 'Which Way To Main Street' LP on Epic, including the killer cut 'Heartbeat'! Thumbs Up
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